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CenturyLink's North America IP Network Peering Policy

October, 2011


CenturyLink Communications Corporation ('CenturyLink') strives to provide premier direct Internet access to all customers. To accomplish this, CenturyLink has developed this peering policy to provide guidelines for the selection of Interconnection Candidates based in North America. CenturyLink selects Interconnection Candidates based upon, among other things, costs, port availability and bandwidth capacity at particular locations, and the overall strategic benefit CenturyLink will experience with the connection. Compliance with the technical and operational requirements in the policy does not guarantee a peering relationship with CenturyLink.

In an attempt to measure accurately the traffic ratios between CenturyLink and Interconnection Candidate, CenturyLink may require a trial peering connection with Interconnection Candidate. Such a trial will only occur pursuant to a Peering Trial Agreement. Although CenturyLink only considers private peering initiatives, CenturyLink may agree to enter into a public interconnection relationship as part of the trial connection. In no case will a public peering connection continue beyond an initial trial. A successful peering trial does not guarantee that CenturyLink will agree to peer with Interconnection Candidate.

Basic Definitions

  1. 'IP Network' means a communications network running TCP/IP and other Internet protocols.
  2. 'Interconnection Point' means the place where two IP Networks are connected by dedicated bandwidth for the purpose of exchanging Internet traffic.
  3. 'Route' means a unique path along which data is directed on the public Internet and/or on either party's IP Network.
  4. 'Border Gateway Protocol 4' or 'BGP4' means protocol used to exchange routing information between collaborating routers on the Internet.
  5. 'Peering' is the settlement-free exchange of IP traffic between service providers operating IP Networks.

Technical Requirements

  1. Network Capacity Requirements: Interconnection Candidate will have 40Gbps pop to pop trunking speeds, i.e., a 40Gbps backbone.
  2. Scope of IP Network: Interconnection Candidate will have a national network with IP traffic termination ('IP Pops') in a minimum of 10 major Metropolitan Statistical Areas located in at least three U.S. time zones, which will include the Eastern, Pacific, and Central time zones.
  3. Interconnect: Interconnect Candidate will have the ability to interconnect with CenturyLink in a minimum of six geographically diverse Interconnection Points where CenturyLink has interconnection points of presence. The Interconnection Candidate must have the ability to interconnect directly at GE (1Gbps) or greater capacity levels at each point of interconnection.
  4. Traffic Ratios: Interconnect Candidate will have a 1.5:1 aggregate traffic ratio with 10Gbps sustained bi-directional traffic flows, measured at 95% peak. The traffic must be balanced across three time zones. The Interconnection Candidate must provide 24-hour peak and average traffic volume statistics at each Interconnection Point. The quantity and speed of circuits between CenturyLink and Interconnection Candidate will be determined by overall traffic between the two parties, and will be reviewed periodically.
  5. Routes: Interconnection Candidate must carry full customer routes in Interconnect routers, and announce consistent routes using BGP4 at all peering locations. Interconnection Candidate must use the same peering AS at each U.S. interconnection point. Interconnection Candidate must not establish a route of last resort (i.e., default route) directed toward CenturyLink. The Interconnection Candidate may not advertise third party routes that allow direct traffic exchange (in either direction) between CenturyLink and customers of the Interconnection Candidate.
  6. Transit Autonomous Systems: Interconnection Candidate will provide transit services to at least 500 unique IP Networks/Autonomous Systems.

Operational Requirements

  1. Interconnection Candidate must have a fully staffed, 24x7x365, network operations center ("NOC").
  2. Interconnection Candidate must provide 48 hours notice to CenturyLink NOC for scheduled maintenance.
  3. Interconnection Candidate must provide trouble reporting and escalation procedures to CenturyLink. CenturyLink must have the ability to open tickets with Interconnection Candidate.
  4. Interconnection Candidate must maintain a publicly accessible looking glass server with BGP views and traceroute capabilities from 5 cities spread across 3 U.S. time zones.

General Information

  1. The peering policy is only a guideline. Meeting or exceeding all of the above requirements does not guarantee CenturyLink will enter into a peering relationship with Interconnection Candidate.
  2. Peering will only occur if CenturyLink and Interconnection Candidate reach agreement on the terms of a Peering Agreement.
  3. CenturyLink maintains the right to change this policy at any time without written notification. It is the responsibility of Interconnection Candidate to maintain compliance with the policy. The policy is located at
  4. Send peering inquiries to

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